Took a Lyft to the airport in Nashville today. I’m headed to San Diego. So, my Lyft ride—>
Wow. The driver’s name was Timothy. Cool dude. He looked so young yet he was already retired from the army. He was in the infantry and was stationed in Iraq back in 2006 through 2008. He was in Fallujah.
He was really nice and easy to talk with. He told me he moved to Nashville from his home in New Hampshire. I thought he’d be a Red Sox and Patriots fan but for some strange reason he was an LA Dodgers and Denver Broncos fan.
While we were chatting I noticed that he had full sleeve tattoos. His right arm was all drawings of dog tags with different names. I asked him about it and he said they were all friends of his who were “no longer with us”.
18 names. Eighteen. He said 12 were killed in Iraq in his infantry and 6 died from suicide since returning home. I asked him why he moved to Nashville and he said it was because many of his remaining friends were in Tennessee. He wanted to be near them to help them. To “be available”.
His eyes were semi-bright with a glimmer in them. Like a flame struggling to stay lit. He had dark circles under both eyes but he still smiled. A sort of sad nervous smile. He’s driving Lyft and paying his bills. Also working another job doing sound at a hotel.
He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was a traveling bard. A Troubadour. He asked if was on iTunes and Spotify. He looked me up and said “now I have some new stuff to listen to”.
I wanted to hug him when I got out at the airport but I just shook his hand. He looked me right in the eyes and said Merry Christmas Mr Poltz.
Now I’m headed to San Diego and all I keep thinking about is how he wanted to be available to others.
Isn’t that what this season is all about?
I want to send a big shout out to all the men and women out there in the military around the world. Let’s all try to “be available”. Bless you.